Posts Tagged ‘*camp’

The BarCampLondonPlanningAssociation (BCLPA)

The BarCampLondonPlanningAssociation
We set up this association whilst planning BarCampLondon6 as a body to hold a bank account and assets to simplify organising future BarCamps in and around London. By no means is there any implied overlap between the membership of BCLPA and the planning team of any BarCamp. The BCLPA has no authority over anything, but is there to be used as a resource by anyone who wants it’s help. It is able to provide the following:
- assistance in terms of experience and support of people who have been involved with the planning of BarCamps.
- banking support for BarCamp sponsorship so you don’t have to set up your own bank account
- reusable items such as power strips, ethernet cables and spare items such as post it notes and index cards.
The BCLPA is not a group of people who are specifically planning any future BarCamp, nor are it’s members the only people who can use the name BarCampLondon – that is something anyone can decide to use. There are, however, a number of members who are interested in running future BarCamps, but they do this individually not as members of the BCLPA. Membership of the BCLPA is only indicative of your interest in how BarCamps are planned and run.
To clarify, the role of the BCLPA is purely advisory and assistance to planners of Camps in and around London. We actively encourage people to go ahead and plan BarCamps (including future BarCampLondons) without being a member of the association. We are sorry if there has been any confusion over this.
If you are organising a Camp in or around London and you do want some of the assistance that the BCLPA can provide, or you are interested in becoming a member to help out others please feel free to contact Emma Persky (emma.persky@gmail.com / @emmapersky).

We set up this association whilst planning BarCampLondon6 as a body to hold a bank account and assets to simplify organising future BarCamps in and around London. By no means is there any implied overlap between the membership of BCLPA and the planning team of any BarCamp. The BCLPA has no authority over anything, but is there to be used as a resource by anyone who wants it’s help. It is able to provide the following:

  • assistance in terms of experience and support of people who have been involved with the planning of BarCamps.
  • banking support for BarCamp sponsorship so you don’t have to set up your own bank account
  • reusable items such as power strips, ethernet cables and spare items such as post it notes and index cards.

The BCLPA is not a group of people who are specifically planning any future BarCamp, nor are it’s members the only people who can use the name BarCampLondon – that is something anyone can decide to use. There are, however, a number of members who are interested in running future BarCamps, but they do this individually not as members of the BCLPA. Membership of the BCLPA is only indicative of your interest in how BarCamps are planned and run.

To clarify, the role of the BCLPA is purely advisory and assistance to planners of Camps in and around London. We actively encourage people to go ahead and plan BarCamps (including future BarCampLondons) without being a member of the association. We are sorry if there has been any confusion over this.

If you are organising a Camp in or around London and you do want some of the assistance that the BCLPA can provide, or you are interested in becoming a member to help out others please feel free to contact Emma Persky (emma.persky@gmail.com / @emmapersky).

BarCamps are not just for techies

I’ve been following two events recently, Unsheffield and TweetCamp. They’re both BarCamp style events with high levels of self organisation, and I’m really pleased that people are taking the time to run events like this. Unfortunately, they have both taken the line that they are moving away from or different to Barcamp because Barcamps are aimed solely at the tech community. And this frustrates me.

I’m fed up of people perpetuating the myth that BarCamps are just for techies. Seriously fed up. Yes, there are a bunch of technical folk who attend these events, and yes they may be the majority, but that majority is not large. Out of all of the many BarCamps I have ever been to I have rarely been to a “technical” talk, and only myself given one that was in any way technical (that was demonstrating my dissertation project and was seriously cool). 

By segregating “geeks, hackers and core techies” from regular people you are only diving apart the community of people who desire to “share and learn in an open environment.” And yes, we are one community, with members from all sorts of backgrounds. Our community is defined by our desire to share and learn, and not by the types of activities we do (hack, paint, fish, etc.). Anyone, from any walk of life, any background, and profession and or any experience level should be comfortable being a member of this community. 

Did anyone honestly find BarCampLondon6 too technical? In fact, there were some people who complained that it was not geeky enough, lacking a dedicated hackspace or way for hackers to get together, but I do not see BarCamp as a hackspace. BarCamp has been and should always be about sharing knowledge, whatever that knowledge is. BarCampLondon6 had sessions on Reflexology, Sourdough Bread Making, Tai Chi, Making your own drop spindle(spinning wool with a potato), and other BarCamps have had similarly diverse sessions.

I’m not suggesting that there shouldn’t be other events, there should and needs to be. Nor am I suggesting that TweetCamp shouldn’t happen, though I am of the opinion it would be better off with less structure. To fully engender the experience of Twitter in the real world I think it is necessary to duplicate the experience as closely as possible. Since Twitter is a fully unstructured environment, perhaps it would be beneficial to have a TweetCamp in a bar or a park or a coffee shop without the (self) organisation of BarCamp style sessions.

I applaud the efforts of the organisers of Unsheffield to see the potential to engage more people. Reaching out to different communities by re branding and widening your event is a great thing. But peddling false rhetoric about the technical basis of barcamp is unjust. If you want to separate yourself from BarCamp then you should, but denigrating it to increase the potential of your own event is just petty. Similarly, justifying TweetCamp by saying that BarCamp is not for “regular” people undermines all of the work many of us put into uniting this community of open minded knowledge seekers. 

BarCamps are not exclusivley for “geeks“, and similarly *Camps and Unconferences are not just for “regular” people. They all exist for anyone and everyone who has a desire to learn and and a passion for sharing.